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African Partnership Flight commences in Ghana

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria
  • USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs
Approximately 50 U.S. personnel along with 100 Ghanaian and partner nation military participants were welcomed to African Partnership Flight in Ghana during an opening ceremony, Sept. 12.

"I would like to welcome the men and women from our sister African countries and the U. S. Air Force to the air force base Accra," said Maxwell Nagai, Ghanaian air advice marshall. "The Ghana air force is proud to co-host the APF for the second time. The purpose of this year's program is to teach skills and exchange ideas that will benefit all Africa, aircraft and air forces."

African Partnership Flight was designed as a combined learning environment for both U.S. and African partner nations in order to build aviation capacity, enhance regional cooperation and increase interoperability.

"Our focus for APF Ghana is expeditionary air base buildup," said Capt. Aaron Charbonneau, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, APF Ghana planner. "We want these nations to gain interoperability, strengthen their armed forces and exercise this capability to fight their own threats."

Over the course of five days, instructors and participants comprised of Airmen from USAFE-AFAFRICA will conduct classroom instruction and hands-on training in areas such as deployment command and control; airfield standup and operations; airbase logistical support; airbase defense; C-130 tactics, techniques and procedures; and aerial patient movement.

"APF 2016 theme is expeditionary air operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The relevance of this theme can't be emphasized [enough] when we look at the challenges that Africa has faced," Nagai said. "Unfortunate events like the Ebola outbreak, highlight the need for training on expeditionary air operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. These priorities will be practice both within and outside the classroom."

The intent of APF is to build strong transparent partnerships that enhance regional stability and security through formal alliances, partnerships or simple exchanges of information.

"We give a lot of training but we gain their culture in return, which is really important in building trust with our African partners," Charbonneau said.

Events will conclude on Sept. 16.